Eilistraee

Eilistraee, also referred to as "The Dark Maiden" is a goddess in the drow pantheon, and her portfolios are song, swordplay, hunting, the moon and beauty. Her worshipers are good-aligned drow hoping to escape the Underdark's evil, Lolth-worshipping matriarchal society, and regain a place in the surface world.

She is worshiped by song and dance, if at all possible, in the surface world under the moonlit night among the woods. She takes great pleasure in bards learning new songs, craftsmen at work, and the doing of kindhearted deeds. Among her followers are drow, humans, gnomes, elves, shape-shifters (children of the moon) and half-elves.

Eilistraee is represented by a drow female in the nude, dancing with a silver sword under the moon. The Dark Maiden's home plane is technically the Demonweb Pits, along with the rest of the drow pantheon, but she makes her home in Arvandor where she does not have to contend with her mother. It is currently believed that she rarely even visits the Demonweb Pits.

Eilistraee, the daughter of Corellon Larethian and Araushnee (who after being punished by Corellon assumed the name Lolth) was cast down along with the rest of the drow pantheon for her apparent part in the war against the Seldarine. Once she was cleared of any wrongdoing, she insisted to her father that she be punished in the same manner as her sibling Vhaeraun and mother. She realized that the drow people would later need an escape from the malevolent priestesses of Lolth.

Eilistraee's followers are fairly small in number, and frequently met with distrust from both the generally drow-fearing outside world, and followers of evil drow deities in particular. They have only gained steady acceptance in small areas, particularly High Forest and Waterdeep. The most well-known temple to Eilistraee, the Promenade, is located near Skullport under the city. The other places of worship are shrines with only a small number of priestesses and warriors, located in areas like the Gray Forest. They are working on both making their presence known and dispelling fears, as well as trying to convince evil drow to abandon their ways and join them.

The clergy of Eilistraee are collectively known as "the Dark Ladies", although individual temples often have their own naming conventions for both the clergy collectively and individual titles. Young initiates and acolytes are known as Maids. Individual titles vary greatly from temple to temple, but some suitable examples include Moondancer, Moonsinger, Dark Huntress, Argent Maid, Living Sword, Unsheathed Blade, Sword Smith, Bright Edge of Darkness, Darksong Knight, Protector and Ghost of the Moonstruck Night.

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